Devcom’ is the technical term which is often used for development communication. The role of Devcom is to create the environment if necessary for development to succeed.
Wittman defines it as an organised systematic effort to apply knowledge about social health and pathology in such a manner. as to enhance and preserve the social and mental health of individuals, families and communities. Devcon fosters economic development, facilitates social development, and contribute to political development. The development communication models affirm that both development and communication are engaged in a symbiotic relationship, one helping another. Dev Com has been viewed as a process that includes audience its needs, planning, production, presentation and feedback. Mercado defines development communication as an incremental, process which starts with the diffusion of new information and technology which stimulates people to bring about conditions in the environment favourable to maximum productivity and the improvement of the general well-being.
J.S. Yadava observes that communication demands attention to the relationship between elements of communication in such a way that the social structure remains visible while analyzing dimensións of communication and thereby coherent. Development communication is one of the means employed for speeding up the pace of progress. It is a vital component in any development planning and its implementation. It is the information flow that promotes the optimum functioning of individuals and assists them in the performance of social roles.
Being considered different from terms like advertising, public relations, propaganda, agriculture extension, rural communication, promotion, marketing communication and even the Western concept of mass media-oriented communication, the term development communication in the third world countries has acquired a more positive and pragmatic role and result-oriented connotation. The development brings about a change in old habits, beliefs, attitudes and values. It cultivates the idea which leads to modernity. The key factor in this process of change is communication. It helps to adopt new attitudes and practices by spreading awareness. The development aims of improving the standard of living can gain considerable boost when people, are subjected to communication. Dev Com is the diffusion of innovations which helps the society to develop. Rogers presents the Development Communication in terms of diffusion of innovations. The process of social change Comprises three steps namely invention, diffusion and consequences. The invention is the process by which new ideas are created or developed. Diffusion is the process these new ideas are communicated to the members of a social system. Consequences are the changes that occur within a social system as a result of the adoption or rejection of the innovation. Social change is, therefore, an effect of communication. UNESCO expert Lloyd Sommerald, while describing the role of communication in national development viewed that communication is an important element in the matrix of influences which lead to innovation and modernisation of society.
Wilbur Schramm is one of the first communication scientists to recognise the role that communication could play in the national development of third world countries. “Who says that in which channel to whom with what effect”, is what American Political Scientist, Harold D. Lasswell (1948) suggested as a convenient way to describe an act of communication. Lasswell was the first to formulate a clear statement of the functions of communication in society.
Nora Quebral (1945) defined Devcom as the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and larger fulfilment of the human potential According to another definition, development communication is a deliberate, systematic and continuous effort to organise a human activity for the efficient use of communication resources and for the realisation of communication policies, in the context of particular social development goals, means and priorities and subject to its prevailing forms of economic, social and political organisation.